It's my all-time favorite local festival for the simple fact that it's free and it features comic books. I mean sure, there are other festivals with a wider selection of products. But a free comic book convention? I can't pass that up.
I missed last year's TCAF due to a nasty bout of the flu, but this time around I managed to make it down to the festival for the final day of the event. There were still a lot of visitors, but less crowded. Like previous years the festival was held at the Toronto Reference Library just off Bloor and Yonge, and just like previous years the most striking feature about the place was the god-awful, retro-orange carpeting. Really, it's the only thing I can remember about the building besides its location.
There were a lot of comic artists there I hadn't heard of, and some bigger name ones that made an appearance to sign their work. The lineups for signatures weren't that bad - instead of standing in line for over an hour you only had to wait around for twenty minutes. I think it was a bargain, all things considered.
I picked up a free copy of The Cartoon Crier (Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2012), another pin from Selena Wong (grabbed some of her bunny pins at Canzine last fall) and a copy of Jinchalo by Matthew Forsythe. The final comic I picked up was Paying For It, by Chester Brown - his autobiographical account of being a John in Toronto. Started reading it last night, and it's really good. The comic is painfully detailed at times (and incredibly embarrassing), but there's this weird quality to it that makes it hard to put down. I think it's sort of like watching a train wreck in slow motion, only in illustrated form.